• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Winners announced at the 2016 North East Equality Awards


Oct 2, 2016

North East organisations that are embracing equality in the workplace and championing diversity in everything they do have been celebrated at a special awards ceremony.

A total of 11 businesses and individuals were recognised as winners of the 2016 North East Equality Awards which were held at the Ramside Hall Hotel on Thursday (October 20).

The event, now in its 30TH year, is organised by Equality North East, a company which works regionally and nationally to help achieve equality in employment, entry to employment and services, removing the barriers to employment for all and ultimately improving economic and social life.

Among this year’s winners were Paul J Watson, a Middlesbrough-based solicitor which scooped the award for organisations of up to 50 staff, the award for organisations of over 50 staff was won by Pioneering Care Partnership, a support service for people with disabilities in County Durham and Darlington and Tyneside Cinema’s Dementia Friendly Cinema. The Outstanding Practice Award went to A-one+ Integrated Highway Services, a Darlington company which is working to maintain and operate trunk roads and motorways for Highways England. They have developed and implemented a comprehensive inclusion strategy which has been embraced at all levels within the organisation

Guests heard an informative and entertaining keynote address from Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, author of the Incredible Power of Staff Networks.

Gateshead College was headline sponsor of the event and one of the college’s former performing arts students, Nathan Lee Lough, hosted the evening which also included performances from the Crossings Project, a Newcastle-based initiative supporting refugees and asylum seekers to engage and integrate within their local communities.

Aukestra, a unique musical collective made up of people with and without autism, and winners of the Special Award for Innovative Practices, closed the evening with a special performance of ‘Bring him home’ and ‘With a little help from my friends..

Mark Thompson, Director of People and Organisation Development at Gateshead College, said: “At Gateshead College we are committed to recognising and celebrating individuality. We know that good equality and diversity practice within the workplace is an essential part of creating fulfilled and successful staff and customers, because people need to be valued for who they are as well as what they do.

“We are proud to be working with Equality North East and to be part of an initiative which rewards those who have made the workplace and the local community a fairer place to be. Congratulations must go to all of the award winners, who have shown that a genuine commitment to equality and diversity can generate tangible benefits for employers, employees and the wider community.”

Sponsors included:

Gateshead College, Your Homes Newcastle, Penshaw View Training, Cestria Community Housing Association, Northern TUC, Bernicia, Rubenstein Publishing and Unison – Bridges to Learning, Anna Reay Band, Ramside Hall Hotel, Finchale, MOFO Graphic and Design, Aurora Digital and Multichord

For further information, visit www.equality-ne.co.uk.

Photo caption: Aukestra were presented with the special Award for Innovative Practices at the North East Equality Awards.

Categories, Sponsors and Shortlisted applicants

Organisations of up to 50 Staff of Up to 50 Staff 

Sponsored by Your Homes Newcastle

The winner was Paul J Watson

Other finalists included:-

FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together)

Hope North East

Venture Compliance Ltd

AAA Caring Caretaker Ltd

Organisations between 51 and 250 staff

Sponsored by Gateshead College Foundation

Joint winners were Pioneering Care Partnership and Tyneside Cinema – Dementia Friendly Cinema

Educational and Training Organisations of up to 50 staff

Sponsored by Gentoo

The winner was Shape Training


Other finalists included:-

CableCom Training Limited

Penshaw View Training

Building Futures East

Educational and Training Organisations of over 50 staff

Sponsored by Bernicia

The winner was Middlesbrough College.


Other finalists included:-

New College Durham

Gateshead Council learningSkills

Larger Organisations Making a Difference in the Community

Sponsored by Newcastle College

The winner was North East Ambulance Dementia Aware Project


Other finalists included:-

Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

North East Ambulance Service Mind Blue Light Project

Your Homes Newcastle

Individuals Who Have Made a Difference                                        

Sponsored by ConNEcting for Change

The winner was Andrew Dalton – University of Sunderland


Other finalists included:-

Alison Stephenson – AAA Caring Caretaker Ltd

Alison Watson-Shields – Hand In Hand Care

Barry Kelly – Venture Compliance

Chris Drinkell – Middlesbrough College

Lucy Fairley – Crossings Project

A posthumous award for Special Recognition was award to Lucy Fairley who recently passed away following a long battle against cancer.

Groups Who Have Made a Difference

Sponsored by Cestria Community Housing Association

The winners were PC Gatenby, PCSO Handley, PCSO Say and PCSO Calvert of Cleveland Police


Other finalists included:-


Learning Support Service- Newcastle College

Greenhope Oasis Allotments (NECA)

Student Voice at Middlesbrough College

TUC Improving Working Lives Award

Sponsored by Northern TUC

The winner was A-one+ Integrated Highway Services


Other finalists included:-

CWU Tyne & Wear Clerical branch

Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC)

Organisations Supporting Disabled People into Employment       

Sponsored by Penshaw View Training

The winner was Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Other finalists included:-

Enterprise Mentoring

AAA Caring Caretaker Ltd

GATES Employment service

Outstanding Practice

Sponsored by Gateshead College

The winner was A-one+ Integrated Highway Services


Other finalists include:-

PC Gatenby, PCSO Handley, PCSO Say and PCSO Calvert  of Cleveland Police

Andrew Dalton – University of Sunderland

Building Futures East

Middlesbrough College

Paul J Watson Solicitor

Special Award for Innovative Practices

Sponsored by Equality North East

The winner is Aukestra

Please see the Equality North East website for further information www.equality-ne.co.uk

By Emily